Poor Millie, she does get worked up about things sometimes.
Just the other night the Lovely Melanie was putting both girls to bed while I was downstairs making dinner. There came an exasperated cry from above, “Stu! Can you come up here, please!”
Bounding up the stairs I found Millie in tears while an impatient Lovely Melanie tried to do some jobs.
“Can you sort Millie out, please. She’s making a fuss about spiders.”
We have spiders in our house – who doesn’t? They’re mostly minding their own business on the ceiling, but sometimes pop up elsewhere (Amber woke up next to one on her pillow recently – not one of the small ones either!)
Millie, bless her, has a remarkable gift for working herself into a panic about such things; particularly at bedtime. She is genuinely scared of spiders (and moths) but this particular pair were outside her room and had been there for days.
Usually I’m pretty flippant about such things – “There’s a spider!” “And?” – in the hope of setting an example that we’re not bothered by them, but sometime you have to be a bit more sympathetic.
I’m her dad, the person she trusts when anything goes wrong or things get scary. You can always rely upon your dad – that’s the lesson I learned when I was little.
Sitting down on the bed I gave her a hug and looked into those tearful brown eyes.
“Lays, those spiders aren’t even in your room, love.”
“But I d-don’t like them.”
“OK, listen to me,” I began, quietly; “I know you don’t like them – I don’t particularly like them – but they’re not going to hurt you, I promise.
“I’m your dad, if I thought there was the slightest chance a spider would hurt you or Amber there wouldn’t be a single one left in this house. But those old spiders have been sitting up there minding their own business for days now; they’re not interested in you or your bed or your toys, they’re interested in the flies that come buzzing in the house, that do come in your room and fly about getting germs on your stuff.
“The spiders are helping us by catching those flies, and all they want is to be left alone to do that.
“If you really want me to get rid of any spiders hanging quietly out there not harming anyone I will, but then there’ll be nothing to stop flies coming in your room.
“So, what would you rather I did?”
A brave little smile appeared on her face and she said “Leave the spiders there.”
I smiled proudly, gave her a great big hug and tucked in all the blankets around her.
“Night-night, my love.”
It’s a fine feeling knowing someone trusts you and everything you say absolutely: but it makes you want to be better – to be the very best dad you can possibly be.